Beautiful Te Waikoropupu Springs in New Zealand

Highlights of New Zealand’s South Island Nature Tour

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Customizable Itinerary

This is a sample itinerary to inspire a personalized trip designed with your travel specialist

Countries Visited

New Zealand

Places Visited

Queenstown, Doubtful Sound, Franz Josef Glacier, Abel Tasman National Park

Suggested Duration

9 Days

Welcome to the ultimate journey across Te Wahipounamu and a stunning 9-day itinerary, from Fiordland and Queenstown to the tropical tones of Abel Tasman National Park. Featuring scenic flights, glacial hikes, epic journeys, and nature’s escapism, this luxurious 9-day adventure will lead you across five national parks and the very best outdoor experiences on New Zealand’s South Island. Just bring a desire to explore, and you will leave with an absolute love for New Zealand’s nature.

Customizable Itinerary

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Trip Highlights

  • Soar above Fiordland on a scenic helicopter flight and touch down on a glacier, where you can walk in an untouched and unseen wilderness
  • Discover the laid-back charms of Queenstown, which is a magnificent town framed by mountains and lakes
  • Explore Lord of the Rings filming locations and relive iconic scenes from the trilogy
  • Spend a night on Doubtful Sound, which is a sublime fjord that will immerse you in the mysteries of the natural world
  • Kayak and hike around the cliffs of Abel Tasman National Park amid tropical tones and turquoise waters
  • Embrace your journey on a private overland drive across five national parks and the very best of Te Wahipounamu UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Feel the wilderness with a day hike on Franz Josef Glacier, where stunning natural ice sculptures meet the rainforest
  • Discover the thrills of jetboating in addition to searching for turtles and rays in tidal Abel Tasman pools

Detailed Description

While New Zealand’s North Island is bucolic, the South Island is framed by some of the planet’s most dramatic landscapes. Snow-capped mountains soar more than 12,000 feet into the sky, mysterious fjords line the coastline, and rays flitter through tidal pools in the tropical waters. Few people actually live on South Island, and the experience is mostly about untouched nature as you discover the ultimate highlights of Te Wahipounamu, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is home to half a dozen national parks.

Handcrafted with private activities and transfers, this luxurious 9-day South Island tour will showcase the best of the island’s nature, from Queenstown to Abel Tasman National Park. You will be sleeping on fjords, hiking on glaciers, kayaking and hiking along the coast, and exploring landscapes that few others have even seen. Your first four nights will be spent in Queenstown and Fiordland. The town is an ideal location to serve as your base and to relax after your long flight. Here, Lord of the Rings filming locations and a jetboat ride will be just two of your experiences. From here, you will explore Doubtful Sound and spend the night in the mist and mystery before indulging in a scenic helicopter flight over Fiordland, which will allow you to land on a glacier.

From Queenstown to Abel Tasman is about a half-day of driving, but it is one of the world’s ultimate road trips with almost the entire road being inside national parks. The road is practically empty, and a private trip means that there will be dozens of places you can stop and explore on foot. Franz Josef Glacier will be your halfway point, and, here, you can hike on a glacier that falls through the rainforest to the beach. Then, in Abel Tasman National Park, you will have completed the transition from snowy scenes to tropical waters. Turquoise tones will take over, and you will be able to fully embrace another side to the South Island. This is the perfect standalone New Zealand trip for nature lovers and can be handcrafted further with experiences to include the North Island as well.

Starting Price

$2,245 per person (excluding international flights)

Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.

What's Included

The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.

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